Originally Posted by MPJJJ
Has anyone who is estranged from their parents noticed a sudden feeling of "I can do this"?
Most definitely. I've spent years not being good enough, or trying to prove myself to them. I'm at a place in my life where I realize that I will never be what they want me to be, and there is literally not a thing that I can do to change that. So I stopped trying.
Estranging myself from my family has been oddly liberating. I'm in a place where I can do anything I want to do (except nothing) without fear of judgement. I'm in a wonderfully supportive relationship with a man who makes sure that I know he believes in me and has confidence in me, and thinks I'm beautiful and intelligent and all that. And that has allowed me to find those things in and for myself.
I have my moments of missing the potential of family. I don't miss *my* family, but more what I wish my family was. I miss having family. But...
Back in April I sent my father a letter (after a year of estrangement) detailing all the things I thought and felt. My memories growing up, the remembered feelings of isolation and favoritism, the abuse I suffered at his hands, my reaction to the nasty things he said to my husband the day after our son died, etc. Detailing everything I could think of ... I spent months writing this letter. And his response to it was basically that he's very sad and that I'm making him my scape-goat. Not a single apology, not an explanation, just that.
That really capped off my decision to limit contact with him. And at this point we've had no further contact. When I cut off contact with him, my sister chose to cut off contact with me.
All of that boils down to I know that my family is toxic, and I know that I don't need them, but hearing about everybody's plans for the holidays and spending time with family makes me sad that I will never have that and my children will never have that (DH is also estranged from his family).
Sort of a long-winded answer...